Interactive functionality must be keyboard operable

Definition All functionality provided by the interactive elements on the page must be operable through the keyboard interface.
Purpose
  • Many users are unable to use the mouse, either because of visual impairments, which make it difficult or impossible for them to see the pointer, or motor skill impairments, which prevent them from being able to accurately position the mouse pointer.
  • This requirement is not intended to discourage support for mouse behaviors, but rather to make sure there is an equivalent way of using the keyboard for all interactive tasks that can be performed using the mouse.
  • The recommended and most efficient way to include keyboard support for interactive elements is to follow computing platform conventions. This will make it it easier for all users to benefit from keyboard support, since the keystrokes and shortcuts will be easier to discover and familiar to the greatest number of users.
  • Touch typists often prefer keyboard commands over mouse actions, especially for frequently performed operations, since they are much more efficient from a hand motion perspective.
Required Yes for HTML4 Legacy Techniques ruleset mapping
WCAG 2.0 Success Criteria

2.1.1 Keyboard (Level A, Primary Success Criterion)

Rule Category Keyboard Support
Scope Page
Target Resources Links, form controls, widgets, object, embed and applet elements
  • applet
  • object
Techniques
  • Use the WAI-ARIA 1.0 Authoring Practices to determine the keyboard support that is appropriate for common widget types.
  • Use keyboard event handers to implement keyboard support for interactive behaviors defined on the page.
  • Avoid using object and embed elements due to the difficulty in providing the corresponding keyboard support for all of their inherent interactive behaviors.
  • Avoid using tabindex values greater than 0 to change tabbing order, since tabbing behavior is inconsistent and therefore unpredictable across web browsers.
Manual Checks
  • Make a list of the functional feature of a web site.
  • Using only the keyboard, perform all of the functions provided by all of the interactive components on the web page.
Informational Links